A free spirit who wants to wake up to the smell of the ocean and let their hair down. Packed with cottages, bungalows, and apartments, Ocean Beach (called OB for short) is quite the enigma. It occupies prime coastal real estate, yet with a hippie, small-town vibe. It has attracted the laidback, bohemian set since the 1960s and you’ll likely share your yard/community garden with college students, yoga teachers, 60-year-old surfers, and artists.
Ocean Beach holds a special, quirky place in San Diego’s heart. It’s the most counter-cultured of all neighborhoods, with its main drag Newport Avenue lined with independent coffee shops, cafes and shops (though a Target Express recently managed to wiggle its way in). At the end of Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach Pier is one of the longest piers in Southern California. If your dog starts barking at you, that’s because he wants to go to OB Dog Beach where he can run amok on the shores 24-hours a day. Sandy hair, don’t care.
Anywhere with hippie eats and hipster concepts. Prepare to dine deliciously – from fresh fruit Hawaiian shaved ice, to modern French bistro fare, to Asian noodles and sake. You’ll proudly tell everyone how close you live to the original Hodad’s, a 1970’s hamburger joint so good that Guy Fieri chowed down there for Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Feast on Mahi fish tacos while perched on the second-story balcony of South Beach Bar & Grille. Then, raise a glass to some of the prettiest sunsets you’ll ever see at the Wonderland Ocean Pub.
Kicking back in your flip-flops, cruising Newport Avenue for everything from cold-pressed coffee to rum-spiked cocktails, and listening to live reggae, drums or bluegrass while soaking up the free-spirited scene at the Wednesday evening farmers market. Fishing off the edge of Ocean Beach Pier, one of the few places to fish without a fishing license. Chasing your dog up and down OB Dog Beach. All other times, you’ll be sprawled on a beach blanket, for the first time fully understanding what it means to ‘chill out.’
You do you. That might as well be Ocean Beach’s motto. This laid-back seaside hamlet is a step back to bohemian days: no pretense, no attitudes, and no worries. Here, you’re free to wear your Birkenstocks and your tie-dye shirts. You can bum around on the beach all day (though your managers won’t be too happy about it). Even your dogs can run around unleashed and naked on Dog Beach. Maybe it’s the laidback, 1960s culture. Or, the fiercely independent community. It’s not every day you can come as you are and enjoy oceanfront living while you’re at it.
Walk Score 82
Median Home Price $837,000
Median Rental Price $2,873